Aww, our adorable li'l sister site Jezebel is almost a year old and is being celebrated with its very own Times feature. Yay! "Like a digital-age upgrade of Sassy, the 1990s-era indie-feminist teenage magazine, Jezebel appeals to a young, urban demographic, with a roster of editors whose strong voices inspire loyal followings. Ms. [Tracie 'Slut Machine'] Egan shares details of her intimate life that are not safe for work. Maureen Tkacik, the site's features editor, who is known as Moe, gravitates toward politics and speaks out against what she calls the 'idiocracy.' Dodai Stewart, the senior editor, pokes fun at magazines and catalogs; in a feature called LOLVogue, she writes satirical captions for fashion spreads." And then come the commenters...
"Jezebel's readers-they often call themselves 'Jezzies' or 'Jezebelles'-are permitted to post to the site after a first prospective comment is approved by a Gawker Media staffer, and must adhere to some basic rules: be witty and relevant, no whining and don't attack people." But you know how those crazy commenters are!
Still, such attacks-on one another, and on the editors-happen regularly. When Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton won the New Hampshire primary after getting teary-eyed at a campaign event, Ms. Tkacik fired off a furious rant, accusing women of voting with their emotions. One commenter, a 28-year-old Brooklyn medical biller who uses the screen name SinisterRouge, wrote back: "Seriously, Moe, I know you love Obama. But to say women just up and voted for her because she cries is retarded."
As part of a popular feature called Snap Judgment, readers offered biting comments on everything from Ms. Jolie's eye-popping neckline to her possible state of mind.
Then a commenter with the screen name Calraigh wrote that, despite being pregnant, Ms. Jolie looked like "an Ethiopian famine victim." Within minutes, a half-dozen angry readers had made their own snap judgments of Calraigh:
"Are you serious?"
"That comment is inappropriate. I don't know what website you think you are on, but that is not how we roll." [NYT]